Wojciech Szczesny – Arsenal’s Unsung Hero Of Last Season

Arsenal might not have won the league but could be said to have had a good season. At the beginning of the season, football pundits had tipped the Gunners to fall out of the top 4 no thanks to their near no activity in the transfer market which was a sharp contrast to Spurs’ heavy spending in the wake of Bale’s sale.

But as usual, Wenger has made mockery of the bookmakers by maintaining Arsenal’s top 4 finish and also ending the club’s age-long trophy drought. Every player tried and that includes one man; Arsenal’s Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesnyy. He was in the spotlight in the summer as the goalkeeping position came under scrutiny after reports emerged that Arsenal were in the market for an experienced shotstopper. To this end, the Gunners were linked with moves for QPR Brazilian goalie Julio Cesar and Real Madrid Spanish keeper Iker Casillas.

At the end, Wenger didn’t bring in anyone, keeping faith with his two Poles but maintaining the younger as the club’s number 1 for the Premier League and Champions League while his older compatriot made do with the Capital One Cup and FA Cup. At the end of the season, Szczesny shared the golden glove with Chelsea’s Cech after keeping 16 clean sheets out of 37 EPL games. He also had the highest number of saves amongst the goalkeepers in the top 7.

He has certainly come a long way. Throughout the season, he showed composure and cool-headedness. The rush of blood has been dealt with and he looked more calm even when under pressure. Also his ego seems to have been dealt with. In the past, he had the belief that the club’s number 1 spot was his for the taking but after been dropped last season for his countryman, he knew he had to work for it and he did this season by churning out consistent performances.

He will need to continue improving if he is to keep that spot. Fabianski is set to leave in the summer and that means Wenger would be bringing in a new goalkeeper and that is a new competition for him. He needs to prove he is still worthy of the number 1 position. Who would Wenger bring in as Fabianski’s replacement, it stands to be seen. Reports are having it that Wenger could swoop for Chelsea’s long term number 1 Petr Cech as there are reports that Mourinho wants to bring back on loan talented goalie Courtois and there is the belief that the only way to achieve that is by selling Cech since there can be no two masters piloting a ship. Should Wenger succeed in getting Cech, Szczesny has a huge battle on his hands and he will have to be at his impeccable best to be ahead of Cech.